When Green Bay’s Jackie Nitschke Center asked for help with its publicity and fundraising efforts, UW-Green Bay students and faculty answered the call.
Students in a new class—Fundraising and Marketing in a Non-Profit Organization—are working to improve the non-profit drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility’s marketing efforts to help it raise money for technology upgrades and make it more visible in the community.“This is a new class in fundraising and marketing at the University,” said Prof. Lora Warner, professor of Public and Environmental Affairs. “We have a pretty small enrollment right now so we had an opportunity to have the eight students that are in the class to really do a hands-on field experience.”
Officials at the Jackie Nitschke Center said the project will benefit both the center and UW-Green Bay students.
“Being a non-profit we don’t have money for marketing in our budget. There’s no line item so the students can learn a lot about addiction treatment and we can learn a lot about what their expertise is,” said Bill LaBine, Jackie Nitschke Center executive director.
Students will be focusing on two areas—generating awareness of the center among the community, and designing a fundraising campaign so the center can improve the technology in the center’s office, Warner said.
Hands-on experiences are beneficial to the collegiate learning process, students in the class say.
“It’s very, very cool to actually be making a difference,” said Jaimie Henschel, a senior psychology major. “You know you’re learning, but to me it doesn’t feel like you’re learning because at the same time you’re actually doing something to help people.”
When Green Bay’s Jackie Nitschke Center asked for help with its publicity and fundraising efforts, UW-Green Bay students and faculty were there to answer the call.
Prof. Lora Warner
We are working with the Jackie Nitschke Center. The class is “Fundraising and Marketing in a Non-Profit Organization.” They (the Jackie Nitschke Center) came to us this summer, looking for an intern. This is a new class in fundraising and marketing at the University. We have a pretty small enrollment right now so we had an opportunity to have the eight students that are in the class to really do a hands-on field experience.
So we are working with the Jackie Nitschke Center and a committee of their board and their executive director to take a look at their marketing materials that they’re using and to try to create a little community awareness of the Jackie Nitschke Center. They are a great non-profit in the area that’s doing alcohol and drug treatment and rehabilitation—in-patient and outpatient—and so the students are able to learn about their program and figure out some ways that we can get them better known in the community
Bill LaBine, Executive Director of the Jackie Nitschke Center
Being a non-profit we don’t have money for marketing in our budget. There’s no line item so the students can learn a lot about addiction treatment and we can learn a lot about what their expertise is.
Jaimie Henschel, Senior, Psychology Major
Basically, at this point, we’re looking at giving them some materials that they can use to kind of go off on their own and do things. Were going to give them a special event, maybe, that they could work on, a marketing plan, maybe write up a grant or something. They’re looking at a capital campaign for technology that we’re possibly going to be giving them some assistance on how they can go about starting that process.
Prof. Lora Warner
There really are two areas that we’re going to be focusing on. One is going to be just generating awareness among the general public. Probably it’s a well-kept secret, the good work that they’re doing at the Jackie Nitschke Center. So the students, for one initiative, we’re going to be looking at ways that we might get the community to know more about the organization.
The second thing is we’re going to be specifically designing a fundraising campaign to help raise the money that they need to improve the technology in their offices.
The funding for treatment keeps going down and the demand for treatment keeps going up. But with the denial of the community and the country, no one wants to deal with this problem. And there’s no money in it for the insurance companies. And the government’s tired of paying. So we’re trying to find ways to keep treating people in hard economic times.
I’ve taken one of Dr. Warner’s classes previously and she did another project that was very similar. And it’s very, very cool to actually be making a difference. You know you’re learning, but to me it doesn’t feel like you’re learning because at the same time you’re actually doing something to help people.
We’ll be utilizing whatever they propose. We’re very open to their ideas. We’re very far behind with technology. I’m sure the students are probably way ahead of us and have more ideas about what’s out there. So we’re going to be teaching them about substance abuse and it’s going to be a win-win situation for both.
The Jackie Nitschke Center is named in honor of Jackie Nitschke, wife of former Packers great Ray Nitschke.
She was a widely-known figure in the movement toward creating better drug and alcohol treatment options in Northeastern Wisconsin.